Dauphin County Prison takes additional precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and suspends inmate transfers

HARRISBURG, PA (April 10, 2020) – Dauphin County Prison is taking additional measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and protect staff and inmates. 

Today, the Dauphin County Board of Prison Inspectors and Corrections Director Brian Clark have suspended transfers of inmates from April 11 to April 25. The state Department of Corrections has also stopped transfers during this time period, when the number of positive cases is expected to surge in Pennsylvania. 

“We’re doing everything we can to limit the spread of COVID-19 by suspending transfers, implementing a facility-wide quarantine and providing personal protective equipment,” said Commissioner Mike Pries, who serves as chairman of the Prison Board. “We cannot thank our staff enough for carrying out these new procedures and prioritizing the health and safety of everyone at the facility.”  

Corrections staff is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations to regularly clean surfaces as well as wear a mask. Staff received a COVID-19 preparedness kit that includes an OV/N95 reusable respirator, clear eye protection and gloves.  

“We’re closely monitoring our system and taking the necessary steps to stop the spread of this virus,” said Commissioner Jeff Haste. “Over the past several weeks, corrections employees have done an outstanding job with adjusting to the changes and stepping up safety measures.”

This week, Dauphin County secured 1,200 washable cloth masks for inmates from the state Department of Corrections. 

“Thanks to advanced planning and our strong partnership with the state, we have the ability to provide all corrections employees and inmates with protective equipment,” said Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III. “We’re incredibly grateful for their around-the-clock efforts to keep everyone safe.”

The prison also suspended visits until further notice and offered free video visitation so that inmates and their loved ones can keep in contact. 

Currently, Dauphin County has 199 cases of COVID-19, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. There are no confirmed cases at Dauphin County Prison at this time. 

The county will keep the community notified on any new developments related to COVID-19.